A Dinner Dance

“What are we having for dinner tonight, Mom? I can smell something good!”

I do the same dance most nights of the week:

Chopping, boiling, sauteing, baking.

Pouring milk, plating entrees, adding a treat.

Dodging a toddler, breaking up bickering brothers, commiserating with my husband.

The kitchen is crowded even when I am the only person in it, and it become impossible when a small child wanders in looking for a drink or a Leggo they thought they left on the counter.

Tempers flare when fanned with hunger and exhaustion. Arguments and less-than-loving tones are routine.

The oven beeps. The microwave dings. Plates and cups and silverware and vitamins get placed on the table.

“Tell your brother dinner is ready, please.”

“EDDIE! DINNER IS READY!”

Side-eye.

Tripping over each other to get to the table.

“What are we having? What’s there?”

“I don’t like this!”

“MMMM! I love this!”

“Can I have more?”

“I haven’t even sat down yet. You can wait.”

Something always spills. Someone always cries.

“Alice, take your shoes off. Why is your coat still on?”

Plates are refilled. Days are discussed.

The table is full of noise every night–sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy, almost always a crazy combination.

“I’m done!”

“Me too!”

“Take care of your plate! WITH TWO HANDS!”

Suddenly Cortney and I are the only two left at the table. My plate is clean, his still half full.

We both sigh because neither wants to get up and start the clean-up/homework/bath dances.

The dinner dance, however, is over for another evening.

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